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UTMonkey

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Hi all,

Well the shed is up, the workbench is built and I am ready to start!

I have decided to start with basic joint work. I bought a book and part of it is dedicated to different joints so I will work on that.

The question now is what wood to start with.

I built my bench with rough sawn timbers and I do have some left so could use that but it is a bit, well , you know, rough.

I imagine I will be creating a lot of waste while I develop my technique, so could do with wood that is presentable but not devastating on the wallet.

Which wood would you recommend?

Regards

Mark
 

Steve Maskery

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Hi Mark
Well you need to find timbers that will not fight you. I suggest you start with some decent-quality softwood, such as Redwood (Pine) in grades Vs (Fifths) or Unsorted (which is better than Fifths, even though it doesn't sound like it).

If you want to try some hardwoods, then Canary Whitewood (also known as American poplar or Tulipwood) is soft and compliant. After that you are onto oak or ash, rather harder but quite satisfying to work.

That way you will make all you initial mistakes on inexpensive timbers and also learn how different timbers behave.
It's a fun journey :)

Cheers
Steve
 

Phil Pascoe

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Watch the local skips - good small pieces of quite decent timber can be got from old doors, pannelling and furniture. Some of it might not be large enough to make much with, but it can be good to practise joints on : at least you don't have worry about cost.
 

UTMonkey

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Thanks for the advice, I'll try my timber merchants for some pine in "fifths", wow, I sound like a pro, lol.
 

pip1954

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hi utmonkey
i tell what i would do and that is i would learn to plane the timber you have (cut out any knots) two reasons
1 you will learn how to plane timber straight and square. :shock:
2 you save money by using your scrap and save money for when you are competent. :lol:
all the best
pip
 

UTMonkey

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Hi Pip,

I did wonder that, but excuse my ignorance - it's hard to imagine that underneath the rough sawn stuff I have there is a flat smooth piece of wood underneath.

Only one way to find out I suppose.

Mark
 

Lons

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Old furniture is a good cheap or free source of decent wood. Check out your local freecycle.

Bob
 

McGill

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UTMonkey":9zqmsl1d said:
Hi Pip,

I did wonder that, but excuse my ignorance - it's hard to imagine that underneath the rough sawn stuff I have there is a flat smooth piece of wood underneath.

Only one way to find out I suppose.

Mark
Plane it smooth. Trust me. I've taken the ugliest, roughest, stained and water damaged pallet boards and planed them smooth enough to make perfectly presentable projects with. Plus, it's great practice at planing.

Rough sawn timber is just the same stuff as the planed all round stuff, except it hasn't been...er,...planed all round yet.
 

devonwoody

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Find a timber merchant and purchase a board of Sycamore/ash or beech. sawn. And get to work. :wink:
 

Mr T

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Hi Pip

I would suggest poplar or tulip wood as it is also known. It has the feel of hardwood but is soft and easy to work. Not as easy to find as pine. Is there an Arnold Laver's near Chesterfield? I know there is one in Sheffield, they would have it.

The key to planing is a sharp blade. If it seems like hard work try turning the wood round in case you are planing against the grain, if it's still hard work sharpen the blade.

Enjoy your woodwork.

Chris
 

Cheshirechappie

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Hi Mark,

If you don't mind me making a suggestion, buy a copy of 'The Essential Woodworker' by Robert Wearing (Axminster and Classic Hand Tools can supply). It has an excellent section on basic woodworking skills (very good on how to square up timber by planing), and sections on how to build a stool or small table, and a carcase with drawers, etc. By the time you've worked through those, you'll be well on the way to being a pretty competent woodworker.

On timber, redwood (trade name for Scot's Pine) is fairly readily available and reasonably cheap (as timber goes) and you can make decent stuff with it. For something a bit harder, Ash, Beech and Sycamore are usually as reasonably priced as any of the hardwoods, and will get you used to different textures and working qualities. Probably best to leave the expensive stuff like Walnut for a while. However, if you can get something hardwoodish cheap or free (skip diving, scrounging or cheap old furniture from the local auction) don't turn it down.

Above all, just pile in and have fun!
 

brianhabby

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Plenty of suggestions for types of wood Mark and I can't really add to what's been said on that topic. However, I do have one suggestion that I hope may help.

If you are anything like me you will soon tire of practicing planing and joints. I would therefore suggest finding a small project to work on - type of wood is unimportant. You will have a goal to work towards and if you screw it up you are no worse off but I think you may surprise yourself, and maybe family members as well, when your small project reaches satisfactory completion.

Just my thoughts

regards

Brian
 

Togalosh

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If you have a saw mill in your area then get down there n see if they've a pile of off cuts - mine has a huge piles of very cheap Oak & Larch. It's going cheap because it's badly kept with plenty of defects & therefore time consuming to mill but I've made a fair bit of nice (IMO) furniture from it.

The beauty of it for me is that there's no nails, paint/varnish (as per used timber), no 'shopping' involved (as per going to homebase for pine), no surly, impatient counter staff (as per my local wood suppliers) & I can load my van down onto it's axles with lots of chunky oak for £60 !..I even got a massive beam of Jarrah for £20..which was not home grown.
 

Chems

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Getting real timber is good advice, but also if you can make nice joints in pine you'll be able to do it easily in real wood as due to its softness and stringyness that you get with pine and redwood it can often be harder than real wood.
 
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